Day 116 (April 26): Joab captures Rabbah, David’s lust for Bathsheba gets him in big trouble, David orders Bathsheba’s husband — his soldier —killed, Nathan reveals David’s sin, David asks God to restore him, David’s son dies,

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

1 Chronicles 20:1

2 Samuel 11-12

Psalm 51

2 Samuel 12:15-23

2 Samuel 5:14-16

1 Chronicles 14:3-7

1 Chronicles 3:5-9

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Samuel 11:1-27): So, it sounds like David took a break from war and a break from focusing on God.  He is away from the battle lines and maybe, thus, away from God’s goals?  He sees Bathsheba bathing and wants her.  He gets her and impregnates her.  (Does Bathsheba have a say in this or must she submit to the king?) Then, he tries to cover it up by calling her husband back from battle to take a break and enjoy his wife — sleeping with her.  He resists, saying that he does not deserve the break when his countrymen are out fighting.  So, David sends him back and puts him on the front lines to have him killed.  This is David’s first major mistake toward God.

A. It is his first major mistake as king and it will not be his last.  It is very likely that Bathsheba did not have a say in her submission to the king who could have had her killed if she did not submit to him.  The passage implies that David stayed behind out of laziness, and that this entire mess would not have occurred if he had simply gone to war as other kings do.  David’s sin(s) here are monumental: he gets a married woman pregnant — a wife of one of his soldiers — and then has the husband murdered when he would not, unintentionally, cover for David’s sins.  It was considered derelict of duty for a solider to have sexual relations with his wife while actively serving.  So Uriah’s unwillingness to sleep with his wife is literally out of desire to please his king and be a good soldier!  In other words, this is really awful by David.

Q. You play, you pay.  That’s what my high school friend’s aunt, whom she lived with, said after breaking curfew or some other rule despised by teenagers.  David got a big reality check here.  What does God mean when he tells David that his family will “live by the sword?”

A. Oh, I don’t want to spoil that, but it will become abundantly clear.  This story represents the beginnings of the “fall” for David.  His story, especially with his family, will become an increasing nightmare.

Q. (12:23): David is making a reference to seeing his deceased son in heaven?  God hasn’t really told us much about heaven yet, right?

A. Yes.  I don’t think even David knows what he means in this statement.  All he is clear about is that the child will never return to him, but some day, in some way, he believes that he will see the child again.

Q. (12:25): God said David should name his son (with wife Bathsheba) Jedidiah, but the son is normally referred to as Solomon, not Jedidiah.  Why?

A. It’s a good question, and I don’t have a good answer.  It may have also merely been a nickname, but that name is never used in the Bible again.  I’m sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

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